M*A*S*H

Season 5 Episode 5

The Nurses

7
Aired Unknown Oct 19, 1976 on CBS
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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The Nurses
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When Hot Lips confines Nurse Baker to her quarters, little does she know that Baker's husband has arrived in the camp. Hawkeye and B.J. put them together in Hot Lips' tent, telling everyone that a quarantined patient has been placed there. When Hot Lips discovers what has happened, she breaks down and refuses to press charges.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the best episodes of pivotal season five, The Nurses shows the continued evolution of the character of Margaret Houlihan.

    10
    Season Five of M*A*S*H could be subtitled 'The Evolution of Margaret Houlihan.' Like most of the other main characters, Margaret went from the contradiction of the passionate-but-by-the-book Hot Lips to a more rounded person. The change began in season four as she reassessed her relationship with Frank, but became more pronounced in this season with breaking up with Frank, and her engagement and marriage to Donald Penobscot. In this episode, she lets her guard down and tells her nurses how she feels about their treatment of her.



    After a contentious OR session and an argument in their tent, Nurse Baker(Lou Grant's Linda Kelsey) gets put on restriction just as her soldier husband(Trapper John, M.D.'s Gregory Harrison) arrives to have the honeymoon they never had. Hawkeye and BJ hear of this and make him a quarantined soldier and put him in Margaret's tent so they can have a night of passion. This forces Margaret to bunk with the other nurses, and they help Baker to sneak out and even lend her a nightgown. However, Margaret finds out and the other nurses rally behind her in one of the most memorable scenes of the whole series. Margaret tells them that she would not have let Baker go, but not because it's against regulations; but because that they never included her in their circle. She has the most memorable line: 'Did you ever once ever offer me a lousy cup of coffee?!' However, when Col. Potter asks about what happened, she covers for the others and you can see her become more open.moreless
  • nurse bakers husband pays a visit to the camp

    9.9
    this is a very good episode of mash where we see nurse baker is sent to her tent. at which time her husband arrivals at the camp to see her. he can only stay for 24 hours. while there margarent gets into a fight with the nurses. hawkeye and bj plan to get baker and her husband together. they meet up at margarents tent. she is spending the night in the nurse tent. when margarent catches baker returning to the tent in the early morning she throws the book at her. the nurses want to know what will happen to her. they find out that hotlips is upset that she is never invited to have a cup of coffee or spend time with the nurse. here we start to see a different side to her. a softer side. this is one good episode.moreless
  • "The Nurses" is a particularly fine episode. Written by Linda Bloodworth, it shows the development of Margaret Hoolihan from the jerk that she has been to a realistic person, who once in a while is willing to bend the rules.moreless

    10
    "The Nurses" was a particularly first-rate episode. Written by Linda Bloodworth, it shows the development of Margaret Hoolihan from the creep that she has been to a realistic person, who once in a while is willing to bend the rules. Over the first four seasons Margaret shows kindness only to children and patients, but rarely to the nurses or the doctors. This episode marks a turning point in her development. The character, Margaret, displays vulnerability and Loretta Swit demonstrates wonderful acting when she chokes up in her speech with the nurses toward the end of the episode. It is wonderful for once to see emphasis placed on the women of the 4077. This unexpected episode was a delight to see.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan

Colonel Sherman T. Potter

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal/Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger

Larry Linville

Larry Linville

Major Franklin Delano Marion Burns

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Linda Kelsey

Linda Kelsey

Nurse Mickey Baker

Guest Star

Gregory Harrison

Gregory Harrison

Lt. Tony Baker

Guest Star

Mary Jo Catlett

Mary Jo Catlett

Nurse Mary Jo Walsh

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • With the exception of Mary Jo Catlett, none of the actresses who played nurses in this episode (Linda Kelsey, Carol Locatell, Patricia Sturgis) ever appeared again on M*A*S*H, either as nurses or any other character (exception being "Our Finest Hour", when the clip of Margaret expressing her feelings from this episode was re-played). Catlett also appears in "The More I See You" (season 4 ep 22).

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Margaret enters the nurses' tent)
      Margaret: I hope that's not what I think it is.
      Walsh: No, Major, it's fudge.
      Margaret: Cooking in the tents is against regulations.
      Preston: Yes, Major. Have some?
      (Margaret walks over to the nurses and tastes the fudge)
      Margaret: Oh, that's really bad.
      (everyone laughs)
      Baker: How about a lousy cup of coffee?
      Margaret: I'd love it.

    • (Baker models a new nightgown)
      Baker: Mary Jo got it in Tokyo. (looking down the top) And I think it's a little big through here.
      Walsh: Look, I loaned you my nightgown. I can't loan you everything.
      Baker: You don't think it's too much, do you? I mean, I don't want to look overanxious.
      Preston: Oh, he might like that.

    • Baker: Hot Lips in our tent? That'll be like sneaking past a watchdog.
      Walsh: We'll cloroform her kibble.
      Preston: We'll rock her to sleep.
      Walsh: With a real rock.

    • (Klinger stops Baker in the compound)
      Baker: Uh, listen. Don't, uh, ask any questions, and, um...my lavender peasant blouse is yours.
      Klinger: With the matching scarf?
      Baker: Mm-hmm.
      Klinger: Pass.

    • (talking about Margaret)
      Frank: When I see her crawling across the compound on her hands and knees, you know what that'll mean?
      Hawkeye: She ate in the mess tent?

    • Walsh: C'mon, Major, you've ruled, regulated, and reported us to death.
      Margaret: You're in the Army, and the Army means discipline!
      Gaynor: We know that. But once, just once, could you show a little compassion?
      Margaret: And once, just once, couldn't you be honest with me? Last night was just another joke, another lie to Major Houlihan!
      Baker: How can we be honest with you? You're like a cat waiting for the mice to make a mistake so you can pounce!
      Walsh: Let's face it, Major, you don't trust us.
      Margaret: And do you trust me? You act like I'm the enemy!
      Baker: All right. If I had asked your permission last night, what would you have done?
      Margaret: I would have said no.
      Baker: See?
      Margaret: Not because it's against regulations, but because of the rotten way you've treated me!
      Baker: The way we've treated you? What are you talking about?
      Margaret: Did you ever show me any kind of friendship? Ask my help with a personal problem? Include me in one of your little bull sessions? Can you imagine what it feels like to... (starts sobbing) to walk by this tent, and hear you laughing, and-and know I-I'm not welcome? Did you ever once ever offer me a lousy cup of coffee?
      Baker: We didn't think you'd accept.
      Margaret: (straightening up) Well, you were wrong! (marches out of the tent)

  • NOTES (5)

    • The confrontation scene between Margaret and the nurses would be seen again in flashback in the episode "Our Finest Hour".

    • Joan Darling received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.

    • Linda Kelsey would later go on to play reporter Billie Newman in the Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off Lou Grant.

    • It was with this episode that we begin to see the softening of Margaret's character. She starts to show her more vulnerable side as well. This can also be seen as another by product of her breakup with Frank.

    • Gregory Harrison would later play Dr. George Alonzo 'Gonzo' Gates on Trapper John M.D., which was about Trapper John in a San Francisco hospital 20 years after being discharged from the Army.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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